On July 1, Absa Bank, the South African banking entity of Barclays Group Africa, became the first-ever domestic South African entity to execute a securities finance trade via the EquiLend trading platform.
With Absa Bank now trading on EquiLend, the bank and its clients benefit from the ability to automate securities finance trading with EquiLend counterparties around the globe. Furthermore, global market participants now have unprecedented access to the South African market.
Brian Lamb, CEO of EquiLend, says: "As EquiLend's global footprint continues to expand, we are constantly aware of our clients' demands to bring the automation and efficiency gains seen for users of our platform to new markets. We have seen significant interest among domestic market participants in South Africa, who are keen to elevate their international presence by joining the EquiLend platform. We anticipate considerable growth in this market going forward."
Francois Henrion, head of Equity Finance within Absa's Prime Services business, says: "Partnering with EquiLend was a natural step for Barclays Group Africa in becoming the 'go-to' prime brokerage business. Our prime brokerage clients benefit from improved pricing and liquidity in their financing portfolios, and as a lending business, we are able to significantly improve our access to, and utilization of, inventory."
EquiLend anticipates greater activity in the South African securities finance market as the need for an efficient means of sourcing securities to cover failed trades becomes increasingly important with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange moving toward a shorter securities settlement cycle, from the current T+5 cycle to T+3. That has increased demand among domestic market participants for securities finance in South Africa.